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Overtoun – This Darkness Feels Alive

This Darkness Feels Alive
by Thomas Kumke at 11 August 2022, 10:54 AM

OVERTOUN were formed by Agustin Lobo and Matias Bahamondes in 2014. They are from Santiago, Chile and play progressive Thrash/Death Metal. So far, they released one demo, one live album, and “This Darkness Feels Alive” is their second full-length album. It was produced and mixed by Pancho Arenas, and mastered by Fleming Rasmussen (RAINBOW, BLIND GUARDIAN, METALLICA) at Sweet Silence Studios Copenhagen, Denmark. The album has a length of about 47 minutes and was released via Italian label WormHoleDeath, which has a number of Black, Death, and Thrash Metal bands among their roster.

The album starts at a fast pace with “Underneath”. The guitar riffing is aggressive and tight and the growling vocals are at around the medium end of the guttural range. “Underneath” includes a few twists and turns in tempo and rhythm, in particular during the middle part of the track. The guitars are the dominating element of the sound, and the riffing includes some progressive elements. The lead guitar solo is played by Joe Stump (HOLYHELL, JOE STUMP) and it is very comprehensive. “Underneath” is the official video release of the album, and the YouTube link is given below. “Humanity” starts again with a lot of tempo, Thrash Metal inspired staccato riffing, and transitions into a more progressive oriented song during the middle part. The lead guitar solo has good support by strong bass lines, which makes it to the highlight of the song.

The progressive elements become more dominant in “Alone” which has a slow and quiet start, where the clean vocals are supported by the melodic framework of the guitars and bass. The chorus parts have a more aggressive riffing with deep lying growling vocals. The song structure and the way “Alone” is arranged reminded me listening to a JINJER song until the last third where the track abruptly changes to a Thrash Metal hammering with the classical riffing, lead guitars, and vocals. “Awaken The Beast” has a powerful start with heavy riffing and crunching bass lines. The riffing has a lot of Thrash vibes in it, but with plenty of twists and distortions in rhythm and tempo. The bass is the leading instrument of the song, with a variety of different contributions at different parts of the track. Felipe Leyton delivered an outstanding piece of versatile bass play on “Awaken The Beast”.

White Wolf” and “Toxin” are among the fastest songs on the album. “White Wolf” follows the same textures as many songs on the album: a fast and aggressive Thrash Metal start, which transitions into the more complex and more technical progressive driven parts with quick successions of different riffs and melodies. As “White Wolf” eventually is at the point of the lead guitar solo, the listener is probably lost at this point, however, OVERTOUN manages smartly to go back to the initial theme. “Toxin” is on the other hand more direct in the riffing, structure, and lead guitars and is probably the “cleanest” Thrash Metal song on the album. “Pitch Back” is one of the darker songs on the album with the staccato riffing and basslines excellently complement each other. The middle part includes an acoustic part with the violin played by Emily Gelineau. Highlight of the track is the following lead guitar solo. “Pitch Back” is another typical OVERTOUN track with quick transitions between Thrash and progressive elements.

The title song starts with an acoustic intro before it transitions into a track at a sluggish rhythm with a doomy sound and riffing. “This Darkness Feels Alive” is a back and forth with slow acoustic parts and the powerful grim riffing. The guitars and the vocals are driving the song forward and stick to the same rhythm for most of the time. “Araucaria” is an instrumental with Folk inspired melodies, driven by the acoustic guitars and the flutes, and it is a very welcomed change on the album. “Made Manifest” closes the album and it features Awka Mondaka as additional vocalist. The song is played predominantly at mid-tempo with the for the album typical rhythm changes. The riffing and the bass lines are again very powerful, and the lead guitar contributions are very dynamic. “Made Manifest” represents the OVERTOUN sound very well and is a fitting end of the album.

OVERTOUN delivers an album which is a mix of progressive and Thrash Metal. “This Darkness Feels Alive” maintains a good balance between both elements. Technically, the album is faultless with the guitars and the bass being the instrumental highlights. The vocals are a bit too uniform throughout, more versatility would have been an extra asset. The songwriting leaves some room for improvement as many songs sound similar regarding the textures with a Thrash inspired powerful start, which transitions into the long sequence of progressive influenced technical play and returning most often at some point to the Thrash Metal part. The album is well produced. “This Darkness Feels Alive” is probably more something for progressive Metal fans and many of them will dig the album and look forward to some exciting live shows of OVERTOUN.

Songwriting:  7
Musicianship:  8
Memorability:  6
Production:  8

3 Star Rating

1. Underneath (ft. Joe Stump)
2. Humanity
3. Alone
4. Awaken The Beast
5. White Wolf
6. Toxin
7. Pitch Black
8. This Darkness Feels Alive
9. Araucaria
10. Made Manifest (ft. Awka Mondaka)
Yoav Ruiz-Feingold – Vocals
Matias Bahamondes – Guitars
Agustin Lobo – Drums
Felipe Leyton – Bass
Record Label: WormHoleDeath Productions


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